The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center recently awarded six projects a total of $960,000 in research grants through its O’Neal Invests program. O’Neal Invests supports nascent, paradigm-shifting cancer research proposed by O’Neal Cancer Center investigators. These are novel ideas with considerable promise and potential impact in the field of cancer care, as determined by a peer-reviewed panel of experts.

UAB RACE21 undergraduates Glenda Booker and Rhythm Williams give instruction to high school students at this year’s BioBridge summer science camp on June 23. (Photo by Michelle S. Johnson)

This summer, the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB led two cancer biology courses as part of a program to inspire rising Alabama ninth-grade students by exposing them to cellular and molecular biology concepts through the context of cancer research. This novel program, called BioBridge, uses a summer camp format to provide students with a hands-on experience learning to appreciate and identify the differences between normal and cancerous cells. In doing so, the program helps bring students’ abstract understanding of cancer to life.

Mike Slive Foundation

Prostate cancer screening is key for early detection, early treatment and improved survival. However, prostate cancer screening rates among Black men are only about 37%. In response to these disparities, the Office of Community Outreach & Engagement at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB has partnered with the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research on a study to better understand how to increase screening rates within this population. 

James "Buddy" Chess

James “Buddy” Chess is a master fisherman who is most relaxed along the waterfront, waiting for the “big one” to take his line. Still, he remembers that his most recent peace of mind came in the form of a simple, yet important test regarding his health: a lung cancer screening provided by the Alabama Lung Cancer Awareness Screening and Education program.

Solomon Crenshaw Jr. speaks during a virtual session on No Menthol Sunday, May 17.

More than 150 churches and community organizations partnered with the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center on May 17 to present No Menthol Sunday, a longstanding annual effort of the O’Neal Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach & Engagement, in conjunction with the Center of Black Health & Equity, to educate local congregations on the risks associated with smoking and other tobacco use.

Darlene Robinson and the Rev. Moses Finch

June is officially National Cancer Survivors Month, but for Darlene Robinson, every day is a day for celebration and encouragement. For years, Robinson has found creative ways to engage her community and keep her support group of cancer survivors connected and inspired.

The Office of Community Outreach & Engagement and the Experimental Therapeutics Research Program at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB are collaborating on a yearlong pilot program to support the translational research continuum from basic science to community health.

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.

Fresh, home-grown vegetables are becoming more plentiful in counties across Alabama and Mississippi with the expansion of a program designed to increase healthy food options and provide more opportunities for physical activity. The introduction of the Harvest for Health initiative signifies a major step for participants in the ongoing Chronic Disease & Health Disparities Program at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.

25 Years of Outreach & Engagement at the O'Neal Cancer Center

The Office of Community Outreach & Engagement at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB continues its 25th anniversary event series on May 25 with a virtual conversation on community outreach in Latino, Latina and Latinx communities with Isabel Scarinci, Ph.D., MPH.

Joanice Thompson

Joanice Thompson didn’t have a manual or a textbook about community outreach, engagement or research recruitment when she arrived at UAB more than 30 years ago.

Yet, by the time she retired in 2018, Thompson had become a sought-after authority on community engagement and on ensuring that community-based research translates into opportunities and improvements for those communities.

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